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News Release

IEEE-USA Supports Senate Legislation to Reform H-1B and L-1 Visa Programs

WASHINGTON (22 March 2013) — IEEE-USA supports the “H-1B and L-1 Visa Reform Act of 2013,” legislation introduced this week by Sens. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa).

“We commend Sens. Brown and Grassley for introducing this important legislation,” IEEE-USA President Marc Apter said. “This, along with increasing the number of green cards available to high-skill workers, would strengthen job retention and creation in the United States.”

The bill “aims to close loopholes in the H-1B and L-1 visa programs, reduce fraud and abuse, provide protections for American workers and for visa holders, and require more transparency in the recruitment of foreign workers.” Among other things, it would:

* Require all companies to make a good-faith effort to hire Americans first

* Prohibit employers from advertising only to H-1B visa holders

* Require that wages paid to H-1B holders and U.S. citizens be essentially the same

* Prohibit companies from outsourcing visa holders to other companies

Including exemptions to the 65,000 annual H-1B cap, the United States issued 134,780 H-1B visas in FY 2012. If legislation pending before the Senate passes, it will significantly increase this number.

One of the drivers for the reform bill, as profiled in a recent Computerworld story, is the strong connection between H-1B visas and offshoring. The publication found that the top 10 companies using the visas specialize in offshoring U.S. jobs.

Computerworld concluded that “… the major beneficiaries of the proposed increase in the cap would be pure offshore outsourcing firms.”

IEEE-USA advances the public good and promotes the careers and public policy interests of more than 206,000 engineering, computing and technology professionals who are U.S. members of IEEE.

Contact: Chris McManes
IEEE-USA Public Relations Manager
Phone: 202 530 8356

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